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MEPS 685:153-170 (2022)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13992

Mesoscale patterns in barnacle reproduction are mediated by upwelling-driven thermal variability

Salvador Román1,*, Nicolás Weidberg1,2, Carlota Muñiz1,3, Alba Aguion4, Elsa Vázquez1, José Santiago5, Pablo Seoane6, Berta Barreiro7, Raquel Outeiral8, David Villegas-Ríos9,10,11, Susana Fandiño12, Gonzalo Macho1,13

1CIM—Centro de Investigación Mariña and Departamento de Ecoloxía e Bioloxía Animal, Facultade de Ciencias do Mar, Universidade de Vigo, 36310 Vigo, Spain
2Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
3Flanders Marine Institute, 8400 Oostende, Belgium
4CIM—Centro de Investigación Mariña, Universidade de Vigo, Future Oceans Lab, 36310 Vigo, Spain
5Confraría de pescadores La Anunciada, 36300 Baiona, Spain
6Confraría de pescadores de A Coruña, 15006 A Coruña, Spain
7Confraría de pescadores San Xosé, 36940 Cangas, Spain
8Confraría de pescadores Santa Tecla, 36780 A Guarda, Spain
9Confraría de pescadores San Martiño de Bueu, 36930 Bueu, Spain
10Departamento de Ecoloxía y recursos mariños, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (CSIC), 36208 Vigo, Spain
11Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados (CSIC-UiB), Departamento de Ecología y Recursos Marinos, 07190 Esporles, Spain
12Consellería do mar, Xefatura territorial A Coruña, Spain
13Present address: Fisheries Consultant, Fisherman’s Cove, Mahé, Seychelles
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Environmental variables are known to regulate the reproductive output of marine intertidal organisms, but typically these variables are studied as averages and interpreted at a macroscale level. Along 200 km of coast in NW Iberia, great variability in the reproductive activity of the stalked barnacle Pollicipes pollicipes was found among 7 different locations. We found the highest number of broods reported to date in this species and suggest a more realistic method of predicting reproductive success that takes into account sea surface temperature (SST). At these same locations, we studied 13 yr of SST, thermal upwelling index (UI), ground skin temperature and chlorophyll a (chl a) satellite data, using spectral analyses to partition their temporal variability over ecologically relevant time scales. SST played the most relevant role as an environmental driver, explaining 48% of the variability in the proportion of breeding individuals (BI), but the SST-BI goodness-of-fit decreased sharply northwards. Variance-partitioning analyses indicated that cycles between 20 and 100 d in SST and UI were more important southwards, which is consistent with a latitudinal gradient in upwelling intensity and frequency along this coast. Thus, we found better biophysical coupling towards the south, where shorter fluctuation time scales in SST match the gonadal development period (around 1 mo). This pattern may explain the spatial variability in the strength of association between key environmental variables and the reproductive cycle of coastal species along their distribution range.


KEY WORDS: Intra-seasonal fluctuations · Latitudinal trends · Pollicipes pollicipes · Reproductive output · SST · Upwelling


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Cite this article as: Román S, Weidberg N, Muñiz C, Aguion A and others (2022) Mesoscale patterns in barnacle reproduction are mediated by upwelling-driven thermal variability. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 685:153-170. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13992

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